Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - November 16, 2018 


Winter Storm Avery takes lives, puts the brakes on commutes across the Northeast. Also on our Friday rundown: A first-of-its-kind report calls for policies to ease transitions of young people living in foster care. And "got gratitude" this holiday season? It could benefit your health.

Daily Newscasts

Post Election Harassment Reported in Tennessee

Student anxiety and incidents of harassment have increased since the 2016 presidential election, according to a survey of school personnel. (faustlawmarketing/morguefile.com)
Student anxiety and incidents of harassment have increased since the 2016 presidential election, according to a survey of school personnel. (faustlawmarketing/morguefile.com)
December 9, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Reports of children telling their peers they'll be deported, hateful graffiti and harassment have arisen after the outcome of the presidential election, according to a report released by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which says incidents of harassment in the nation's schools are on the rise.

Report author Maureen Costello, Teaching Tolerance director for the Southern Poverty Law Center, said 90 percent of respondents said the election has affected their schools negatively, and many reported disturbing behavior.

"Confederate flags, lot of use of the n-word," she said. "We've heard of Nazi salutes, swastikas and 'Heil Trump.' It just seems that the kind of civil behavior that we expect of students has completely broken down."

Eight in 10 educators surveyed said immigrant, Muslim and African-American students, as well as those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, experience the greatest anxiety. Costello noted that the small percentage of schools reporting little impact are predominantly white or have a history of developing welcoming, inclusive communities and programs that encourage empathy and compassion.

Costello said children who are anxious have a harder time learning, and added that parents can help address their concerns.

"Parents, I think, should, first of all, engage with their children and listen to them," she said. "So, it's not just 'How was school today?' but, 'Hey, I've heard about this. Is this happening at your school?' "

The report's recommendations for school leaders included making public statements to affirm school values and set expectations about inclusion and respect, identifying students who are being targeted or whose emotional needs seem to have changed, and doubling down on anti-bullying strategies.

"It's sometimes hard to stand up to bullying or to stand up to nasty things being said, but you don't actually have to," she said. "What you just have to do is go over to the target, engage them in conversation and show that, you know, you're their friend."

More than 10,000 teachers, counselors and other school workers responded to the post-election survey, up from 2,000 who took part in a similar poll in March, when teachers overwhelmingly named the source of both student anxiety and bad behavior as Donald Trump.

The report is online at splcenter.org.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - TN